Former restaurant location causing eyesore for neighbors

It’s ugly and highly visible and it’s been that way for years. The remains of the old Black Eyed Pea restaurant on I-40 and Juan Tabo is not only an eyesore, but it’s causing a headache for people who live nearby.

Dead trees, shrubs, and pebbles scattered around the parking lot of the old Black Eyed Pea restaurant has become the norm for a lot of people in Albuquerque.

“Things have gotten worse,” says Jeff Henderson.

Henderson, who’s been living behind the lot for the past 15 years, says he can’t take another day of the mess.

“They’ve now moved their grocery carts up near the concrete slab,” he says.

Back in 2011, the former restaurant burned down after it sat empty and boarded up for years. Before the fire, thieves stripped the building of any of the remaining copper left inside.

It’s been almost eight years since the fire and Henderson say the lot continues to attract trash and transients.

“You see that we have a gate here that’s not normally for a house, but to hopefully deter some of that. But they still come in the yard,” he says.

The city’s Planning and Zoning Department says they got a complaint about the property back in November. The city issued the property owners a violation, but a few days later, they fixed the problem.

“When we got there, the property owner had maintenance out there cleaning up the property,” says Carmelina Hart with the Planning and Zoning Department.

That means how it sits right now, complies with city code.

“As long as the property owner stays in compliance, then everything is good,” says Hart.

Henderson says in the last 10 years, he’s only noticed an effort to clean up the area in the last month and doesn’t have high hopes it’ll last.

“If my youngest daughter wasn’t in college, I’d be gone,” he says.

Since the last complaint in November, the city has not received any more complaints about the lot.

KRQE News 13 reached out to the property owner but did not hear back.

WATCH: KRQE’s coverage of Black Eyed Pea Restaurant Fire in May of 2011

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